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Peoria Area, Illinois

June 6, 2017
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Peoria Area, Illinois

Need a great weekend trip? You are never too far away for a visit to the Peoria area! A big city with small town feel, the Peoria Area has a number of awesome attractions that you won’t find anywhere else!

Pretend you are in a different world at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. It has a number of interactive exhibits that will keep children entertained for hours. Test your skills at the Illinois High School Association Peak Performance or learn about the Illinois River at the River Walk. The museum also has a number of traveling exhibits throughout the year. Travel to far off galaxies and experience the vibrant sights of space in The Dome Planetarium. Check out the newest blockbuster hits or exciting documentaries in the Giant Screen Theater. At 52 ft. by 70 ft., the giant screen may make you diver for cover when a dinosaur is charging your way!

Want to learn about one of the world’s biggest companies? Check out the Caterpillar Visitors Center, located next door to the museum! The Caterpillar Visitors Center is a fascinating look at the company that has called the Peoria Area home for nearly a century. You’ll find interactive displays and exhibits sure to engage and entertain visitors of all ages. Try your luck at some of Caterpillar’s big equipment in state-of-the-art simulators. It even has a theater built inside a Cat truck! The Caterpillar Visitors Center also has a number of special exhibits throughout the year. The on-site Cat Merchandise Center offers a wide selection of collector die-cast scale models and the latest in Cat and Caterpillar branded footwear and designer apparel.

If you are looking for a night of fun, check out the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino. With more than 1,000 slot machines and 24 tables, the riverboat casino is great for the serious and casual gambler. If gambling isn’t your thing, Par-A-Dice has a number of amazing dining options. Start with a nice dinner at Boyd’s Steakhouse, which is known for their prime meats and fish. Wash down dinner with a drink at Bourbon’s Lounge. The Rocks Bar and Restaurant has great drinks and live entertainment nightly.

Hop aboard the Spirit of Peoria paddlewheel and enjoy a sightseeing cruise along the Illinois River! This authentic paddlewheel cruise is a must-do for those wanting to relive Peoria’s yesteryears. Be entertained by live ragtime piano and banjo music, as well as a storyteller sharing river lore, while taking in the Peoria area skyline and the natural hillsides of the river valley. The Spirit of Peoria offers daily sightseeing cruises as well as overnight trips farther down the river. Fans of murder mystery will love a number of murder mystery dinners on board the boat as well. One trip on the Spirit of Peoria and you’ll feel like you stepped back in time!

Zoos are great, but Wildlife Prairie Park takes it to a new level. The 2,000-acre park has more than 50 native Illinois species, including an 80-acre prairie area with bison and elk. You may also see bald eagles, cougars, wolves and much more! Go inside an authentic 19th century schoolhouse and log cabin. The park even has a train! Take a ride on board the Prairie Zephyr as it takes you through quiet forests and rolling by animals on display.

Catch some great baseball at Dozer Park, located in Downtown Peoria! Dozer Park is home to the Peoria Chiefs, the Single-A affiliate to the St. Louis Cardinals. Great baseball, mouth watering food and fun entertainment makes Dozer Park a must during the summer! Getting here is always an enjoyable time as well, with so many small towns and unique spots to stop off at, follow the Great River Road scenic byway is part of an Illinois experience you won’t want to miss.

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